Christmas comes but once a year, but when it comes to Luxembourg, it packs as big a bag as Santa carries and stays for over a month.
The popular Christmas markets in Luxembourg City open this weekend on the place d’Armes, place de Paris and place de la Constitution.
The markets feature stalls galore selling Christmas decorations and treats, seasonal gifts and cards and of course, plenty of local, regional and international food including the famous Gromperekichelcher (fried potato cakes best eaten with apple sauce), soups including the popular Bouneschlupp (green beans, potatoes, onion and bacon or sausage), grilled meats, mulled wine both red and white from Luxembourg, hot chocolate and all kinds of home-made sweets and candy, Thai noodles, Nürnberger Rostbratwurst (a grilled sausage), Feuerzangenbowle (mulled wine into which rum-soaked sugar is caramelized and dripped by setting it alight), Irish Coffee, gingerbread... and much more.
There is also a Solidarity Market on the Grand-Rue at the Roude Pëtz, which highlights another important aspect of Christmas, the spirit of giving--five chalets are made available to associations selling goods to raise funds for worthy causes.
The place d’Armes and place de la Constitution markets play host to concerts of seasonal music performed by local bands and choirs. The place de la Constitution houses a big wheel, a trampoline, candle-making workshops for kids and a giant revolving nativity pyramid of the sort found in German households at Christmas time.
Throughout the country, towns big and small from Esch to Sandweiler set up stalls and serve up cheer, for a month or for a weekend. Each has its own take on it--Dudelange, for example, goes medieval.
If you plan a visit to a market in the greater region, then Trier’s cookie-jar houses make for a romantic setting where you can find ceramics and hand-blown glass as well as food and drink. The city centre is also home to an ice-rink.
Further afield, Strasbourg lays claim to having held the first Christkindelsmärik in 1570, and the French city is still a beautiful place to visit in the Advent period. Metz is also great for kids--with an ice skating rink, a giant Ferris wheel and Le Monde Merveilleux for ages 0 to 12, with bouncy castles and ball pits.
You can also mull-wine through the markets in Belgium, at huge events like in Brussels--with nightly light shows on the Grand Place and 240 chalets on place Saint Catherine--and in Liege, Belgium’s oldest event that’s so big it’s called a “village”, not a market. Smaller and closer is Namur, where you’ll find ice skating, a Ferris wheel and 100 chalets at three city sites.
And while you’re making up merry plans, google “Durbuy Belgium Christmas lights”. If seeing this tiny town all aglow doesn’t light up your Christmas tree, you better book some visits from the ghosts of Christmas past, present and future to scare the bah-humbugs out of you!
Place d’Armes & Place de la Constitution, Luxembourg-Centre
Place de Paris, Luxembourg-Gare
Across the Grand Duchy Greater Region